We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled

Voices from Syria
Author: Wendy Pearlman
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062654454
Category: History
Page: 352
View: 1695
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LONG-LISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL Reminiscent of the work of Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, an astonishing collection of intimate wartime testimonies and poetic fragments from a cross-section of Syrians whose lives have been transformed by revolution, war, and flight. Against the backdrop of the wave of demonstrations known as the Arab Spring, in 2011 hundreds of thousands of Syrians took to the streets demanding freedom, democracy and human rights. The government’s ferocious response, and the refusal of the demonstrators to back down, sparked a brutal civil war that over the past five years has escalated into the worst humanitarian catastrophe of our times. Yet despite all the reporting, the video, and the wrenching photography, the stories of ordinary Syrians remain unheard, while the stories told about them have been distorted by broad brush dread and political expediency. This fierce and poignant collection changes that. Based on interviews with hundreds of displaced Syrians conducted over four years across the Middle East and Europe, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled is a breathtaking mosaic of first-hand testimonials from the frontlines. Some of the testimonies are several pages long, eloquent narratives that could stand alone as short stories; others are only a few sentences, poetic and aphoristic. Together, they cohere into an unforgettable chronicle that is not only a testament to the power of storytelling but to the strength of those who face darkness with hope, courage, and moral conviction.

We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled

Voices from Syria
Author: Wendy Pearlman
Publisher: Custom House
ISBN: 9780062654441
Category: History
Page: 352
View: 1923
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LONG-LISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL Reminiscent of the work of Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, an astonishing collection of intimate wartime testimonies and poetic fragments from a cross-section of Syrians whose lives have been transformed by revolution, war, and flight. Against the backdrop of the wave of demonstrations known as the Arab Spring, in 2011 hundreds of thousands of Syrians took to the streets demanding freedom, democracy and human rights. The government’s ferocious response, and the refusal of the demonstrators to back down, sparked a brutal civil war that over the past five years has escalated into the worst humanitarian catastrophe of our times. Yet despite all the reporting, the video, and the wrenching photography, the stories of ordinary Syrians remain unheard, while the stories told about them have been distorted by broad brush dread and political expediency. This fierce and poignant collection changes that. Based on interviews with hundreds of displaced Syrians conducted over four years across the Middle East and Europe, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled is a breathtaking mosaic of first-hand testimonials from the frontlines. Some of the testimonies are several pages long, eloquent narratives that could stand alone as short stories; others are only a few sentences, poetic and aphoristic. Together, they cohere into an unforgettable chronicle that is not only a testament to the power of storytelling but to the strength of those who face darkness with hope, courage, and moral conviction.

We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled

Voices from Syria
Author: Wendy Pearlman
Publisher: Custom House
ISBN: 9780062654618
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 3291
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Reminiscent of the work of Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, an astonishing collection of intimate wartime testimonies and poetic fragments from a cross-section of Syrians whose lives have been transformed by revolution, war, and flight. Against the backdrop of the wave of demonstrations known as the Arab Spring, in 2011 hundreds of thousands of Syrians took to the streets demanding freedom, democracy and human rights. The government’s ferocious response, and the refusal of the demonstrators to back down, sparked a brutal civil war that over the past five years has escalated into the worst humanitarian catastrophe of our times. Yet despite all the reporting, the video, and the wrenching photography, the stories of ordinary Syrians remain unheard, while the stories told about them have been distorted by broad brush dread and political expediency. This fierce and poignant collection changes that. Based on interviews with hundreds of displaced Syrians conducted over four years across the Middle East and Europe, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled is a breathtaking mosaic of first-hand testimonials from the frontlines. Some of the testimonies are several pages long, eloquent narratives that could stand alone as short stories; others are only a few sentences, poetic and aphoristic. Together, they cohere into an unforgettable chronicle that is not only a testament to the power of storytelling but to the strength of those who face darkness with hope, courage, and moral conviction.

The Home That Was Our Country

A Memoir of Syria
Author: Alia Malek
Publisher: Nation Books
ISBN: 1568585330
Category: History
Page: 352
View: 3932
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Alia Malek weaves a lyrical narrative around the history of her family's apartment building in the heart of Damascus, the many lives that crossed in the stairwell, and how the fates of her neighbors reflect the fate of her country. At the Arab Spring's hopeful start, Alia Malek returned to Damascus to reclaim her grandmother's apartment, which had been lost to her family since Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970. Its loss was central to her parent's decision to make their lives in America. In chronicling the people who lived in the Tahaan building, past and present, Alia portrays the Syrians--the Muslims, Christians, Jews, Armenians, and Kurds--who worked, loved, and suffered in close quarters, mirroring the political shifts in their country. Restoring her family's home as the country comes apart, she learns how to speak the coded language of oppression that exists in a dictatorship, while privately confronting her own fears about Syria's future. The Home That Was Our Country is a deeply researched, personal journey that shines a delicate but piercing light on Syrian history, society, and politics. Teeming with insights, the narrative weaves acute political analysis with a century of intimate family history, delivering an unforgettable portrait of the Syria that is being erased.

The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria


Author: Janine di Giovanni
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0871403838
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 8133
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A New York Post Best Book of 2016 Winner of the 2016 IWMF Courage in Journalism Award Winner of the 2016 Hay Festival Medal for Prose "Destined to become a classic." —Lisa Shea, Elle A masterpiece of war reportage, The Morning They Came for Us bears witness to one of the most brutal internecine conflicts in recent history. Drawing from years of experience covering Syria for Vanity Fair, Newsweek, and the front page of the New York Times, award-winning journalist Janine di Giovanni chronicles a nation on the brink of disintegration, all written through the perspective of ordinary people. With a new epilogue, what emerges is an unflinching picture of the horrific consequences of armed conflict, one that charts an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war zone. The result is an unforgettable testament to resilience in the face of nihilistic human debasement.

No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria


Author: Rania Abouzeid
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393609502
Category: History
Page: 384
View: 8856
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This astonishing book by the prize-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid tells the tragedy of the Syrian War through the dramatic stories of four young people seeking safety and freedom in a shattered country. Extending back to the first demonstrations of 2011, No Turning Back dissects the tangle of ideologies and allegiances that make up the Syrian conflict. As protests ignited in Daraa, some citizens were brimming with a sense of possibility. A privileged young man named Suleiman posted videos of the protests online, full of hope for justice and democracy. A father of two named Mohammad, secretly radicalized and newly released from prison, saw a darker opportunity in the unrest. When violence broke out in Homs, a poet named Abu Azzam became an unlikely commander in a Free Syrian Army militia. The regime’s brutal response disrupted a family in Idlib province, where a nine-year-old girl opened the door to a military raid that caused her father to flee. As the bombings increased and roads grew more dangerous, these people’s lives intertwined in unexpected ways. Rania Abouzeid brings readers deep inside Assad’s prisons, to covert meetings where foreign states and organizations manipulated the rebels, and to the highest levels of Islamic militancy and the formation of ISIS. Based on more than five years of clandestine reporting on the front lines, No Turning Back is an utterly engrossing human drama full of vivid, indelible characters that shows how hope can flourish even amid one of the twenty-first century’s greatest humanitarian disasters.

Occupied Voices

Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada
Author: Wendy Pearlman
Publisher: Nation Books
ISBN: 9781560255307
Category: History
Page: 250
View: 577
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As the Middle East peace process disintegrates and the second Palestinian Intifada begins, Wendy Pearlman, a young Jewish woman from the American Midwest travels to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in a quest to talk to ordinary Palestinians. A remarkable narrative emerges from her conversations with doctors, artists, school kids, and families who have lost loved ones or watched their homes destroyed. Their stories, ranging from the humorous to the tragic, paint a profile of the Palestinians that is as honest as it is uncommon in the Western media: that of ordinary people who simply want to live ordinary lives. As Pearlman writes, "the personal stories and heartfelt reflections that I encountered did not expose a hatred of Jews or a yearning to push Israelis into the sea. Rather, they painted a portrait of a people who longed for precisely that which had inspired the first Israelis: the chance to be citizens in a country of their own."

Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement


Author: Wendy Pearlman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139503057
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 1040
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Why do some national movements use violent protest and others nonviolent protest? Wendy Pearlman shows that much of the answer lies inside movements themselves. Nonviolent protest requires coordination and restraint, which only a cohesive movement can provide. When, by contrast, a movement is fragmented, factional competition generates new incentives for violence and authority structures are too weak to constrain escalation. Pearlman reveals these patterns across one hundred years in the Palestinian national movement, with comparisons to South Africa and Northern Ireland. To those who ask why there is no Palestinian Gandhi, Pearlman demonstrates that nonviolence is not simply a matter of leadership. Nor is violence attributable only to religion, emotions or stark instrumentality. Instead, a movement's organizational structure mediates the strategies that it employs. By taking readers on a journey from civil disobedience to suicide bombings, this book offers fresh insight into the dynamics of conflict and mobilization.

My Country

A Syrian Memoir
Author: Kassem Eid
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1635572851
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 224
View: 1947
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Kassem Eid survived arrest in al-Assad's regime, a chemical weapons attack that shocked the world, and the siege of a city where he fought with the Syrian rebel army. This is his story-a unique and powerfully moving testimony for our times, with a foreword by Janine di Giovanni. On August 21, 2013, Kassem Eid nearly died in a sarin gas attack in the town of Moadamiya. At least 1,500 people were killed. Later that day, he was hit by a mortar while helping the Free Syrian Army fight government forces. He survived that, too. But his entire world-friends, neighbors, family, everything he knew-had been devastated beyond repair. Eid recalls moving to Moadamiya in 1989, at the age of three. The streets where he and his eleven siblings played were fragrant with jasmine. But he soon realized that he was treated differently at school because of his family's Palestinian immigrant origins, and their resistance to the brutal regime. When Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father in 2000, hopes that he would ease the state's severity were swiftly crushed. The unprecedented scope of this brave, deeply felt memoir makes it unique in the body of literature to emerge from the Syrian civil war. Eid illuminates the realities of growing up in a corrupt dictatorship; the strictures of living under siege; the impact of unspeakable violence; and how, at extraordinary personal risk, he drew worldwide attention to the assault on cities across Syria. This is a searing account of oppression, war, grit, and escape, and a heartbreaking love letter to a world lost forever.

The Impossible Revolution

Making Sense of the Syrian Tragedy
Author: al-Haj Saleh
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 1787380513
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 3399
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Yassin al-Haj Saleh is a leftist dissident who spent sixteen years as a political prisoner and now lives in exile. He describes with precision and fervour the events that led to Syria’s 2011 uprising, the metamorphosis of the popular revolution into a regional war, and the ‘three monsters’ Saleh sees ‘treading on Syria’s corpse’: the Assad regime and its allies, ISIS and other jihadists, and Russia and the US. Where conventional wisdom has it that Assad’s army is now battling religious fanatics for control of the country, Saleh argues that the emancipatory, democratic mass movement that ignited the revolution still exists, though it is beset on all sides. The Impossible Revolution is a powerful, compelling critique of Syria’s catastrophic war, which has profoundly reshaped the lives of millions of Syrians.

Dear World

A Syrian Girl's Story of War and Plea for Peace
Author: Bana Alabed
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501178466
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 224
View: 6312
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“A story of love and courage amid brutality and terror, this is the testimony of a child who has endured the unthinkable.” —J.K. Rowling “I’m very afraid I will die tonight.” —Bana Alabed, Twitter, October 2, 2016 “Stop killing us.” —Bana Alabed, Twitter, October 6, 2016 “I just want to live without fear.” —Bana Alabed, Twitter, October 12, 2016 When seven-year-old Bana Alabed took to Twitter to describe the horrors she and her family were experiencing in war-torn Syria, her heartrending messages touched the world and gave a voice to millions of innocent children. Bana’s happy childhood was abruptly upended by civil war when she was only three years old. Over the next four years, she knew nothing but bombing, destruction, and fear. Her harrowing ordeal culminated in a brutal siege where she, her parents, and two younger brothers were trapped in Aleppo, with little access to food, water, medicine, or other necessities. Facing death as bombs relentlessly fell around them—one of which completely destroyed their home—Bana and her family embarked on a perilous escape to Turkey. In Bana’s own words, and featuring short, affecting chapters by her mother, Fatemah, Dear World is not just a gripping account of a family endangered by war; it offers a uniquely intimate, child’s perspective on one of the biggest humanitarian crises in history. Bana has lost her best friend, her school, her home, and her homeland. But she has not lost her hope—for herself and for other children around the world who are victims and refugees of war and deserve better lives. Dear World is a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit, the unconquerable courage of a child, and the abiding power of hope. It is a story that will leave you changed.

Destroying a Nation

The Civil War in Syria
Author: Nikolaos Van Dam
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 1786722488
Category: Political Science
Page: 208
View: 5410
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Following the Arab Spring, Syria descended into civil and sectarian conflict. It has since become a fractured warzone which operates as a breeding ground for new terrorist movements including ISIS as well as the root cause of the greatest refugee crisis in modern history. In this book, former Special Envoy of the Netherlands to Syria Nikolaos van Dam explains the recent history of Syria, covering the growing disenchantment with the Assad regime, the chaos of civil war and the fractures which led to the rise and expansion of ISIS. Through an in-depth examination of the role of sectarian, regional and tribal loyalties in Syria, van Dam traces political developments within the Assad regime and the military and civilian power elite from the Arab Spring to the present day.

Burning Country

Syrians in Revolution and War
Author: Robin Yassin-Kassab,Leila Al-Shami
Publisher: Pluto Press (UK)
ISBN: 9780745337821
Category:
Page: 320
View: 4281
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*Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2017*In 2011, many Syrians took to the streets of Damascus to demand the overthrow of the government of Bashar al-Assad. Today, much of Syria has become a war zone where foreign journalists find it almost impossible to report on life in this devastated land.Burning Country explores the horrific and complicated reality of life in present-day Syria with unprecedented detail and sophistication, drawing on new first hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists among many others. These stories are expertly interwoven with a trenchant analysis of the brutalisation of the conflict and the militarisation of the uprising, of the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of governments in Syria and elsewhere in exacerbating those violent processes.With chapters focusing on ISIS and Islamism, regional geopolitics, the new grassroots revolutionary organisations, and the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, Burning Country is a vivid and groundbreaking look at a modern-day political and humanitarian nightmare.

The Merchant of Syria

A History of Survival
Author: Diana Darke
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190935030
Category: History
Page: N.A
View: 2643
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Barely literate, and supporting his mother and sisters from the age of ten, Abu Chaker built up a business empire--despite twice losing everything he had. Diana Darke follows his tumultuous journey, from instability in Syria and civil war in Lebanon, to his arrival in England in the 1970s, where he rescued a failing Yorkshire textile mill, Hield Bros, and transformed it into a global brand. The Merchant of Syria tells two parallel stories: the life of a cloth merchant and his resilience, and the rich history of a nation built on trade. Over millennia Syria has seen great conflict and turmoil, but like the remarkable story of Abu Chaker, it continues to survive.

Religion and State in Syria

The Sunni Ulama from Coup to Revolution
Author: Thomas Pierret
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139620061
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 9668
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While Syria has been dominated since the 1960s by a determinedly secular regime, the 2011 uprising has raised many questions about the role of Islam in the country's politics. This book demonstrates that with the eradication of the Muslim Brothers after the failed insurrection of 1982, Sunni men of religion became the only voice of the Islamic trend in the country. Through educational programs, charitable foundations and their deft handling of tribal and merchant networks, they took advantage of popular disaffection with secular ideologies to increase their influence over society. In recent years, with the Islamic resurgence, the Alawi-dominated Ba'thist regime was compelled to bring the clergy into the political fold. This relationship was exposed in 2011 by the division of the Sunni clergy between regime supporters, bystanders and opponents. This book affords a new perspective on Syrian society as it stands at the crossroads of political and social fragmentation.

The Syrian Uprising

Domestic Origins and Early Trajectory
Author: Raymond Hinnebusch,Omar Imady
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 135138760X
Category: Social Science
Page: 344
View: 1144
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Most observers did not expect the Arab spring to spread to Syria, for a number of seemingly good reasons. Yet, with amazing rapidity, massive and unprecedented anti-regime mobilization took place, which put the regime very much on the defensive; what began as the Syrian Uprising in March 2011 has evolved into one of the world’s most damaging and protracted conflicts. Despite over six years having passed since the inception of the Syrian Uprising, this phenomenon remains difficult to fully grasp, both in terms of underlying forces and long-term implications. This book presents a snapshot of how the Uprising developed in roughly the first two to three years (2011–2013) and addresses key questions regarding the domestic origins of the Uprising and its early trajectory. Firstly, what were the causes of the conflict, both in terms of structure (contradictions and crisis within the pre-Uprising order) and agency (choices of the actors)? Why did the Uprising not lead to democratization and instead descend into violent civil war with a sectarian dimension? With all 19 chapters addressing an aspect of the Uprising, the book focuses on internal dynamics, whilst a subsequent volume will look at the international dimension of the Uprising. Taking an innovative and interdisciplinary approach that seeks to capture the full complexity of the phenomenon, this book contributes significantly to our understanding of the Syrian conflict, and will therefore be a valuable resource for anyone studying Middle Eastern Politics.

The Crossing

My journey to the shattered heart of Syria
Author: Samar Yazbek
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1473527945
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 288
View: 1077
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'ONE OF THE FIRST POLITICAL CLASSICS OF THE 21st CENTURY'- Observer 'EXTRAORDINARILY POWERFUL, POIGNANT AND AFFECTING. I WAS GREATLY MOVED' Michael Palin FOREWORD BY CHRISTINA LAMB Journalist Samar Yazbek was forced into exile by Assad's regime. When the uprising in Syria turned to bloodshed, she was determined to take action and secretly returned several times. The Crossing is her rare, powerful and courageous testament to what she found inside the borders of her homeland. From the first peaceful protests for democracy to the arrival of ISIS, she bears witness to those struggling to survive, to the humanity that can flower amidst annihilation, and why so many are now desperate to flee.

Triadic Coercion

Israel’s Targeting of States That Host Nonstate Actors
Author: Wendy Pearlman,Boaz Atzili
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231548540
Category: Political Science
Page: 384
View: 5422
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In the post–Cold War era, states increasingly find themselves in conflicts with nonstate actors. Finding it difficult to fight these opponents directly, many governments instead target states that harbor or aid nonstate actors, using threats and punishment to coerce host states into stopping those groups. Wendy Pearlman and Boaz Atzili investigate this strategy, which they term triadic coercion. They explain why states pursue triadic coercion, evaluate the conditions under which it succeeds, and demonstrate their arguments across seventy years of Israeli history. This rich analysis of the Arab-Israeli conflict, supplemented with insights from India and Turkey, yields surprising findings. Traditional discussions of interstate conflict assume that the greater a state’s power compared to its opponent, the more successful its coercion. Turning that logic on its head, Pearlman and Atzili show that this strategy can be more effective against a strong host state than a weak one because host regimes need internal cohesion and institutional capacity to move against nonstate actors. If triadic coercion is thus likely to fail against weak regimes, why do states nevertheless employ it against them? Pearlman and Atzili’s investigation of Israeli decision-making points to the role of strategic culture. A state’s system of beliefs, values, and institutionalized practices can encourage coercion as a necessary response, even when that policy is prone to backfire. A significant contribution to scholarship on deterrence, asymmetric conflict, and strategic culture, Triadic Coercion illuminates an evolving feature of the international security landscape and interrogates assumptions that distort strategic thinking.

Voices of Jordan


Author: Rana F. Sweis
Publisher: Hurst & Company
ISBN: 9781787380134
Category:
Page: 224
View: 4789
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Jordan's diverse socioeconomic make-up encapsulates, like no other Middle Eastern state, both the array of pressing short-term problems facing the region, and the underlying challenges that Arab states will need to face once the current spate of civil conflicts is over: meaningful youth employment, female participation in politics, and integration of refugees into society. This book tells the story of Jordan through the lives of ordinary people, including a political cartoonist, a Syrian refugee, a Jihadist and a female parliamentarian. The raw voices and everyday struggles of these people shine a fresh light on the politics, religion, and society of a culture coming to terms with the harsh reality of modernization and urbanization at a time of regional upheaval. With her deep knowledge of Jordan's landscape, language and culture, Rana Sweis sketches an intimate portrait of the intricacies and complexities of life in the Middle East. Rather than focusing on how individuals are affected by events in the region, she reveals a cast of characters shaping their own lives and times. Voices of Jordan shares those stories in all of their rich detail, offering a living, breathing social and political history.

Dancing in Damascus

Creativity, Resilience, and the Syrian Revolution
Author: miriam cooke
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315532913
Category: Social Science
Page: 154
View: 2252
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On March 17, 2011, many Syrians rose up against the authoritarian Asad regime that had ruled them with an iron fist for forty years. Initial successes were quickly quashed, and the revolution seemed to devolve into a civil war pitting the government against its citizens and extremist mercenaries. As of late 2015, almost 300,000 Syrians have been killed and over half of a total population of 23 million forced out of their homes. Nine million are internally displaced and over four million are wandering the world, many on foot or in leaky boats. Countless numbers have been disappeared. These shocking statistics and the unstoppable violence notwithstanding, the revolution goes on. The story of the attempted crushing of the revolution is known. Less well covered has been the role of artists and intellectuals in representing to the world and to their people the resilience of revolutionary resistance and defiance. How is it possible that artists, filmmakers and writers have not been cowed into numbed silence but are becoming more and more creative? How can we make sense of their insistence that despite the apocalypse engulfing the country their revolution is ongoing and that their works participate in its persistence? With smartphones, pens, voices and brushes, these artists registered their determination to keep the idea of the revolution alive. Dancing in Damascus traces the first four years of the Syrian revolution and the activists’ creative responses to physical and emotional violence.